Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Questions raised over action-packed Metropolitan Police recruitment advert

An image taken from the new Metropolitan Police recruitment advert (Metropolitan Police/PA)
An image taken from the new Metropolitan Police recruitment advert (Metropolitan Police/PA)

Experts have questioned whether a new action-packed recruitment advert for the Metropolitan Police gives an accurate impression of life in the force.

Former director general of the National Crime Agency Lynne Owens reacted to the glossy advert on Twitter, asking: “I’m wondering whether adverts like this set the right expectation for the right people?”

The footage shows officers in various different jobs, including on the beat but also specialist firearms teams, a diver, officers on a boat, in bomb disposal and forensics. It is the first time that the force has used a TV recruitment advert.

Ken Marsh, head of the Metropolitan Police Federation that represents thousands of officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector, said it would take a new recruit several years to get to those “elite” levels of policing.

He said: “If you look at the video, a new serving police officer will not be doing any of those things.

“It’s very exciting, I was quite impressed when I watched it, it is a theatrical masterpiece but it’s not reality unfortunately.

“It’s not what’s expected of new constables who will be working morning, noon and night doing the most routine work there is and the hardest work there is in policing.

“What you’re seeing in the video is elite policing.”

Mr Marsh suggested Met bosses would be better off improving pay and conditions for officers.

He went on: “I understand why they’re doing it, they’re desperate to recruit, but they need to actually understand why they’re in the position that they’re in, rather than spending I don’t know how many tens of thousands on that video.

“People don’t want to join the police because of the fact that there are a lot of jobs out there at the moment and we’re not competitive with what’s being offered in London.

“A starting police officer starts on what someone gets in McDonald’s. No disrespect to someone in McDonald’s but there is a complete difference in what’s required from you.”

In April the Met reached its highest ever officer head count of 34,542, and is aiming to reach 36,500 by April 2023.

A head and shoulders shot of the head of the Metropolitan Police Federation, Ken Marsh, wearing a suit and tie, and glasses, standing in front of a blurred background.
Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh called the advert ‘a theatrical masterpiece’ (Metropolitan Police Federation/PA)

Taking into account those who will retire and leave during that time, the force needs to recruit nearly 4,000 officers, double the number it normally would in a year.

This is part of a wider recruitment drive in England and Wales to replace 20,000 officers who were cut during austerity, an initiative that started in September 2019.

With only one in 10 applicants successful, and thousands of officers who would leave or retire in the timeframe, the target means force bosses need to attract 500,000 hopefuls to apply for jobs.